Thursday, October 4, 2018

Getting Your Closet Ready for Winter

I don't want to put my shorts away! And I will probably still wear them - but it might be time to pull out a pair of long pants! When the wind blows at 30 mph - it gets a bit nippy!

I love the fall and sweater weather!  So - I guess it's time to take a look at your closet and get ready for the fall and winter.

If you are lucky enough to have a big closet where you don't have to change out your clothes with the season - then you might not have to go to the lengths that a lot of people have to go through.

With closet space being at a premium - and people having a "lot" of clothes - the winter/summer shuffle happens every year.

Be honest - and be realistic. As you take out your clothes - look at each and every piece of clothing and make the "big" decision. 

# 1     Does it still fit ?
# 2     Do I still like it ?
# 3     Do I still wear it ?  If so - when was the last time I wore it ?
# 4     Is it in good shape ?

If you can't answer "yes" to all of the above questions - Get Rid of It!

This is especially true for kids - as they tend to outgrow their clothes at an alarming speed! If the kids summer clothes still fit now - you have to judge it you think they will fit by next spring. It all depends on the age of the kids and their growth pattern.

Once you have cleared out all of your summer clothes and put them into piles of keep, donate, mend....  then it's time to put your fall/winter clothes back into the closet.

You should go through the same procedure as above. Make sure the clothes still fit and you still like them and wear them.  If not - why have them take up valuable closet space?

Putting things back in your closet by color (yes, I do that....) makes it easier to find something when you are looking for a certain piece of clothing.

An organized closet makes getting dressed and out the door in the morning easier and stress free!

Happy Fall!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, October 1, 2018

It's Fall - Organize Your Garage - Winter is Coming

It's officially Fall! That means no more fun summer activities like tubing on the river, kayaking and all of the other summer activities we love so much.

The leaves are falling, the weather is turning windy and cool and we need to start preparing for winter!  That means clearing out the garage of all of the summer toys and getting ready for snow!

Start by emptying out your entire garage. Yes, it's a lot of work - but it needs to be done (at least twice a year!). 

Be realistic and take a good look at what you have in your garage. If there are toys for kids (skates, bikes, scooters.....) you will need to decide if they have outgrown the toys - or will have outgrown them by next spring. If so, now is the time to get rid of them (donate, give to another family.....).

If there are other things in your garage that you have not used or will not use again - get rid of them.

Sweep out your garage - now - while it's empty.

Make sure that your lawnmower, trimmer and any other machinery that you use is cleaned and empty out any fuel it might still have in it. Store them in the back of the garage.

Make sure that your snowblower is working and ready for winter.

Put your snow gear (snowblower, shovels, ice melt.....) near the front of the garage with easy access.

The snow will be coming soon!  Be ready!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, July 16, 2018

Clutter - Keeping Memories

Clutter comes in a variety of disguises. Sometimes it appears as "important" objects that we feel the need to keep "because" someone special gave it to us or it meant something to "someone".

But the question is - does it mean anything to us?  Is it important to us?  Or - is it "still" important to us.

As time goes by - our life changes.  Our interests, our friends, what was once important to us - they all change.

So why are we keeping things that no longer mean anything to us?  Or things that never really meant anything to us - just to the people that gave it to us?

Friends and family mean well.  They give us things that they think we will like - or that they like - and they expect us to keep them and cherish them as they did.

But is that fair to us?  What if we really don't like what they gave us or if we have no room for the object or if the object doesn't really mean anything to us?

Do we really need to keep it - forever?

Sometimes things mean a lot to us - at the time. But what usually happens is that as we change - as our interests change - as our lives change - we don't get rid of things that no longer mean anything to us. Or things that have lost their meaning or value.

Letting go of sentimental things - memories - is really hard.  But keeping them doesn't really change the fact that we no longer have the same attachment to them.  Or that we no longer have the space for them.

Don't let the guilt of letting objects go stop you from letting them go.  You can keep the memories if they are good ones and pass the object on to another person that might care about it. Or if the memory is a painful one - let it go and reclaim your life.

You are not obligated to keep anyone else's "stuff".  Letting go is not always easy - but it is a part of growing up.

Let is go - without guilt. Reclaim your space and your own life.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Business Expansion - North By Northwest - Coaching You to a More Productive Life - Without Guilt or Stress

Karin E. Fried Announces the Expansion of her business to include Life Coaching.

Fried has expanded her business to include Life Coaching in answer to her clients changing needs. "Helping overwhelmed entrepreneurs and professionals balance the struggle of business and family without guilt and stress".

MISSOULA, Mont. - June 6, 2018 - eTradeWire -- With over 25 years of prior business experience and her Professional Organizing & Productivity Consulting business being firmly established in Montana, Fried has expanded her business to include Life Coaching in answer to her clients changing needs. "Helping overwhelmed entrepreneurs balance the struggle of business and family without guilt and stress".  By being an advocate for women entrepreneurs Fried is able to help women realign their lives and their business with their personal values to achieve the happiness and success they deserve".

Karin E. Fried of Organizational Consulting Services has expanded her Professional Organizing & Productivity business in answer to her clients ever changing needs. Having provided coaching services for the last ten years Fried has been working with Coach Training Alliance to become a Certified Coach to provide her clients with a better coaching experience that will help to empower them to achieve their goals. The Certified Coach Program is a six-month long course. It is certified as 60 hours of Approved Coach Specific Training Hours by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

North By Northwest – "Pointing You in the Right Direction for Your Life" was born out of the need of Frieds clients for more in depth coaching.Fried helps her clients balance their life and achieve their goals with support and guidance, while helping them reduce their stress. 

Coaching is defined as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. It is a highly tuned and powerful process of communication and problem solving. The relationship between a coach and a client is co-creative and focused entirely on the client's interests, challenges, and goals

A 'life coach' is someone who is trained to help you see clearly where you are today, then find ways to move forward towards your goals. Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives. They are a source of motivation and inspiration to help clients reach their full potential. They are personal trainers for their life goals.

"My ongoing education allows me to help clients with the numerous challenges that they face in everyday life" said Fried. Increasing my knowledge will enable me to provide the highest quality individualized services to my clients".

For more information on her Life Coaching business, please visit

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Schools is Almost Out - Some Tips to Clear the Upcoming Clutter

School is almost out !!!! Only a few more weeks to go!

Kids will be cleaning out their lockers and bringing home a lot of  STUFF.  Stuff that you haven't seen in a year. Maybe even stuff that you didn't know that you were missing - like your Tupperware! Well - that is if you are lucky enough to get your Tuupperware back - instead of it having been "accidentally thrown out".

Kids will also be bringing home a lot of papers and other things that they find  in their lockers. Maybe even some clothes. If they are like most kids they will probably just dump it all in the hallway when they come home. And it will stay there for weeks.

So, before you get too far into the summer take some time to organize the mess. And if you can, make the kids help. It is their mess after all!

First, throw out all of the garbage.

Second, take back your Tupperware, dishes, silverware...

Third, grab those clothes and throw them in the laundry. After they are clean, decide if they still fit or might still fit by the start of the next school year. Otherwise, into the "donate pile" they go.

Fourth, go through their papers and decide which ones you want to keep (things such as art work or other papers you really want to keep). You might want to dispose of the other papers when the kids are not around. If you have a folder/box or notebook for each child you can put anything you want to save into their file (by grade). If there is any art work that you want to keep but is too big for your file box - you might want to take a picture of it instead of keeping the actual paper.

Fifth, any extra school supplies that can be used for the next year can be put away in a bag and you will have a head start on shopping for the next school year. Be sure to keep a list of what you already have so that you don't buy duplicates when you get the rest of their school supplies in late summer.

Sixth, check the condition of their backpack and lunch box and toss them or put them away for next year (after a thorough cleaning of course!).

Don't let the mess sit there all summer. You know what to expect - so get ready with a plan - clear it up right away and get on with your summer!

It will only be a few more weeks - until the chaos sets in! Start planning some activities now - to keep the kids busy throughout the summer - so that you too can enjoy the great weather!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Friday, May 18, 2018

Storage Units - Garages - Basements: Stuff Everywhere

A lot of people have things in storage. Whether its in a garage, the basement or a storage unit.

The big questions is - WHY? 

Why did you put it into storage? Are you really going to use it again? Later? Sometime? In the next year? The next five years? Be honest!

Let's be realistic. If you put it into storage because you don't have enough room in your closet and you switch between summer and winter clothes - well - that's one thing.

But - a few suggestions. Make sure that the clothes are clean when you put them into the bin. Make sure the bin is securely closed (to prevent dust, water and critters).

Make sure the bin is labeled so that you know what's in there!

If you are storing things because you are going to move - be sure that everything is in good condition and wrapped well. Again, label the bin (or box). It will save you time when you are ready to move so that you know where to put the bin once you arrive at your new destination.

Don't store things that you have never used or rarely used or will probably never use. Don't store old books that you will never re-read or books from your high school or college years. Be honest - you are never going to re-read the books and there is no reason to store them.

Don't store old magazines that you never have time to read - because you won't ever get around to reading them.

Don't store things from relatives or friends - that you will never use. Give them to someone that will use them and appreciate them.

Don't store old furniture from your childhood for your kids. They have their own tastes and they don't want your stuff. They just don't have the nerve to tell you.

Don't store stuff that you will not be able to use for the next five years. It's a waste of space and money and in five (or ten) years - you won't want it anyway. And it will also probably be moldy or unusable.

Be realistic. If you don't have room for it - you need to make a decision on how long you are going to pay to store it. Look at the money spent on storage fees - versus the actual value of the item.

Sometimes you just have to let things go.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, April 30, 2018

Getting Organized - in Small Chunks of Time

A major reason that people say they can't get organized is "because they don't have enough time".

Well - that's just an excuse!

There are many things that you can do to organize, declutter and clean your home and your life - that doesn't take up a lot of time.

You can put away all of the shoes that are taking over the entryway of your home
You can clear off the kitchen counter
You can organize one drawer in your kitchen
You can clear out one side of the medicine cabinet in your bathroom
You can throw out all of the old newspapers that are still on the coffee table
You can put away your laundry that has been sitting on our dresses for the past week
You can clear out your purse
You can sort the mail

There are a lot of things that you can do - that take up very little time.

Give yourself  5, 10 or 20 minutes - pick something - and then do it!

For more inspiration and ideas - reread:

In Five Minutes I Can .....

Get Organized In Twenty Minutes A Day 


Organizing Your Purse (Briefcase / Backpack)....


Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, April 23, 2018

Do You Use It ??? Have you worn it lately ???

Most people have a lot of "stuff" that they never use. Yet - they just can't seem to get rid of it.


Because they bought it and it was expensive
Because someone (family member, friend...) gave it to them
Because they might need it "someday"
Because they might lose weight and fit into it again
Because they could break it apart and use it for something else

But all of this "stuff" - that is never used and probably had been forgotten about is taking up room. Valuable space in their home.

People complain that they don't have enough room, enough storage space - yet they have "stuff" that is cramped into every nook and cranny - and is never used.

If you haven't used something in over a year. If it doesn't fit anymore. If it's out of style. It's time to "let it go".

If your child has graduated high school - you don't need to keep their childhood toys.

If you never use the fancy china or silverware that is in your hutch - "let it go".

It's not easy for a lot of people. Especially if it has sentimental meaning. But - you can take a picture of it and keep the memory. Memories don't take up as much room.

Clear out your clutter and clear out your stress.

"Let it go".

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Organizing to Sell your Home

It's springtime - and a lot of people are putting their house on the market. So how can you make your house look better?

  • Declutter
  • Organize
  • Pack Up Unneeded Stuff
  • Stage Your Home to Showcase It's Assets

Here are some basic tips:

Make the entryway welcoming and clutter free – by hiding shoes, coats, keys…

Keep tables, countertops, nightstands coffee tables and dressers clear of papers, trash & clutter

Clear off refrigerator magnets

Clear out your cupboards so that they are not overflowing or messy – so that potential buyers can get a sense of the actual space

Box up kitchen items that you rarely use – to maximize the look of the space

Empty the garbage

Make the beds

Clear out your closets – so that they aren’t stuffed full and make them look roomy

Set the table

Open up blinds and shares to let in natural light

Start packing before you even sell your home – so that it looks more spacious

Make decisions and purge before you pack – instead of packing everything and paying for and moving stuff that you will throw out when you get to your new home. It’s a waste of time and money.

Rearrange your furniture to make your room look bigger and more inviting

Clear out children’s toys and put the toy bin away for open house

Do a thorough cleaning and deodorize

If you have an office – turn it into a bedroom

No more than 3 items on the kitchen counter

Clear bathroom countertops, add fresh towels 

Maximize space by minimizing stuff


Getting Ready to Sell Your Home - DeClutter For a Better Sale

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Letting Go and Starting Fresh

Clutter is about more than stuff. It's about your life - past and present. For most people clutter - or memories as they call it - is about their past. Having things that remind us of our childhood, or what we accomplished (old trophies) - gives us a sense of who we are. Or who we were.

But sometimes - we hold on to things from the past that have bad memories attached to it.

The question is - why?

Why do you want to be reminded of a bad or traumatic period of your life?  So that you don't make the same mistake again? Or maybe to remind yourself that you were able to change and become a better person?

Whatever the reason - holding on to painful memories just keeps you in the past.

By letting go - of your clutter - of the past - you can start to make new and better memories.

Physical clutter takes up a lot of room in your home. Emotional clutter takes up a lot of room in your mind and heart.

Going through each room of your home - getting rid of the clutter - lets you open up the room to a new and fresh outlook on life. By clearing the clutter of things that no longer interest you (old crafts) - you make room for new interests.

Give yourself permission to clear the clutter out of your life - and let in more productive possibilities!

Start fresh - one room - one day at time!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Few Organizing Tips To Get Rid of Clutter

Clutter looks bad. It takes over our home and seems to grow. It usually starts at the front door.

When you walk into your home - what do you see?  A bunch of coats, hats, boots - strewn everywhere?  Piles of stuff - never moving.

You can conquer clutter!  Start by having a landing area for your coats, hats, boots - and anything else that comes into your home. Use your coat closet!  Sounds logical doesn't it?  Yet most people don't use their closet and instead pile things up on a bench or hang  a bunch of coats on one hook - meant for only one coat. It looks bad and gives a bad first impression.

By using a coat closet for coats - and only current weather gear - your entry way will immediately take on a more organized and clutter free look.  Keep off season coats and gear in another closet or basement if there is not enough room in your entry way closet.

Horizontal surfaces are not your friend! People tend to pile things on them. And then more on top of that. And then more on top of that.....   You get the picture!  Piles upon piles! 

What are piles?   Delayed decisions.

Instead of just piling things - put them where they belong right away!  It really only takes a few seconds to put things where they belong.  Yet, people seem to think that it takes longer than it actually does and that it takes a lot more effort. In reality - piling things and then having to look through the pile and finding the correct home for the item - actually takes a lot longer and a lot more effort than doing it right in the first place.  It's all psychological.

Have a donate bin handy.  Whenever your family outgrows things (clothes, toys, books....) or you find that you aren't using something anymore - put it into your donate bin.  When the bin gets full - take it to a donation center. Don't forget to get your donation receipt so that you can put it on your income tax return.

By keeping clutter at bay - your home and your life will become clearer and your stress levels will go down.

So start today - and check those piles!  Banish clutter from your home!

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Estate Division - Make It Easy on Your Family

Organizing your life includes organizing your assets so that your family knows what you want done should anything happen to you.

A lot of people think that only old people should have a will and think about the future. That is the furthest thing from the truth! Being prepared for anything that life might throw at you is a gift that you can give your family. At a time of crisis a lot of people make decisions based on emotion instead of logic. Make your important decisions before a crisis so that the decisions you make are in your best interest/

One way to do this is to make a list of all of your assets.

Divide your assets without dividing your family.

Estate Division software - there is a FREE version available. This is a great way to track and later divide household assets.

Divide Assets and Clear the Home for Sale


Take your time and organize your home and life - on your terms.

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Funny (or real) Comics about Clutter

Just a few comics to lighten up your day!


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Monday, January 29, 2018

Organizing Basics for your Kitchen and Pantry

One of the busiest places in your home is your kitchen. This should be a place that is organized and clutter free so that you can create healthy and nutritious meals for your family.

Having a spot for healthy snacks - for you and the kids - is really important - not only for your health - but also for instilling healthy habits in your kids. By having a bowl of fruit or nuts available - instead of chips and other non-healthy food - you are setting your kids up for success in their future.

Your kitchen counters should be cleared off so that you have ample work space.  Any appliances that you do not use every day should be stored in another area.

Go through each drawer - one at a time - pull everything out and lay it on the counter.  If you have multiples of an item, decide how many you really need. Do you really need 8 wooden spoons or 6 tongs?  Get rid of the duplicates and things that you really don't need or have never used.

By doing this for each drawer you will have cleared out and paired down your kitchen in no time.

For your pantry:

Take everything out of your pantry and place it on a table.

Get rid of any expired food or anything that you don't use.

Sort like items with like items - for example: all of your beans, soups, sauces, condiments - should all be placed together on the table.

Once you have everything out and know how much of each item you have - then you can decide how many and what type of containers (baskets, jars....) you will need.

You could also add some turntables or stepped organizers as needed.

Put everything back into your pantry- grouping like items together.

By having things grouped together you will know what you have at a quick glance.

For a great article on how to store your spices - read:

16 Ways to Store Your Herbs and Spices

Less Clutter = Less Stress SM     in your home, your business and your life 

Organizational Consulting Services

Friday, January 26, 2018

GO Month 2018 - Get Organized in the New Year

 GO Month 2018

January is Get Organized (GO) MonthSM,  a month long campaign by the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) to promote the benefits of working with an organizing or productivity professional who is committed to professional development.

January is the ideal time for GO Month, since getting organized is a popular New Year’s resolution.  During GO Month, NAPO professional organizers and productivity consultants across the country host events in their communities to empower individuals, families, businesses and organizations to regain control over their surroundings, time and possessions. By sharing proven organizing and productivity techniques and principles, NAPO members help people save time, save money and reduce stress.

The History of GO Month:

In 2003, NAPO established the “Get Organized Week”  Community Service Project Program, where NAPO members held events to help promote organizing in their communities. The success of the program led NAPO to officially proclaim January as Get Organized (GO) Month in 2005, and
develop a public awareness campaign to focus national attention on how getting organized empowers people to regain control over their time, possessions, inboxes, and surroundings.

NAPO professional organizers and productivity consultants across the country once again will
share their knowledge and host community events to help individuals, families, businesses and organizations bring time management, organization, storage solutions and productivity into their lives, and start the year with systems and solutions to improve efficiency long term.

2018 Theme: Get Organized and Become More Productive!

The natural evolution of the organizing professional to productivity consultant is the focal point of this year’s campaign. How does the process of becoming organized yield greater productivity? During the month of January, NAPO will share tips, articles, research and member stories that focus on the basics of getting organized and the tools that help to provide organization. NAPO will also share success stories about how better organizational practices have yielded greater productivity! And finally, NAPO will educate members and the public about the growing field of Productivity Coaches and Consultants.

Organizational Consulting Services plans to participate in the national public awareness initiative by offering free organizing tips to help people start the new year off right by getting organized.  Just email a request to – put “free organizing tips” in the subject line.

About NAPO
The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) was founded in 1985 as a nonprofit professional educational association for professional organizers. Today, NAPO has approximately 3,500 members worldwide, representing the full spectrum of the global industry:  professional organizers, productivity consultants, authors, educators, trainers, manufacturers, service providers and more. NAPO’s mission is to be the leading source for organizing and productivity professionals by providing exceptional education, enhancing business connections, advancing industry research, and increasing public awareness.

NAPO is headquartered in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, and is on the web at

Organizational Consulting Services

 Less Clutter = Less Stress
SM     in your home, your business and your life